These dark chocolate pizzelle are a fun take on the traditional Italian wafer cookies. They are a fabulous addition to a holiday cookie tray, or can easily be made into sandwich cookies or cannoli shells.
I've been daydreaming about all of the Italian bakery cookie assortments I've had the pleasure of sampling in my day. From rainbow cookies (♥) to raspberry jelly sandwich cookies to pignoli cookies to sprinkle cookies to anise cookies and all the cookies in between...I'll take one
or five, please.
Pizzelle cookies were another variety that made their appearance at more than one holiday gathering. Traditionally these crisp wafer cookies are a) not chocolate and b) flavored with anise extract, so this iteration of flavored pizzelle is a little bit different than the usual.
But believe me, these dark chocolate pizzelle cookies are wholly satisfying on their own that you won't mind the deviation from the tried and true version. This fact was heavily tested...for "research".
Has anyone ever complained about the addition of dark chocolate in a baked good? I didn't think so.
I varied the size of the pizzelle I made from small, few-bite circles to full-sized wafers purposefully to avoid the pressure of churning out perfectly round circles (without any overhang) for each and every batch.
Of course that pressure is placed upon me by me, but the more years that go by in my baking tenure, the more I realize that reliably producing picture-perfect, precise baked goods does not mesh well with my artistic skills. And/or patience level...
SO, these dark chocolate pizzelle are perfect imperfect, and cater to those in your crowd who after a holiday meal, are stuffed to the gills and couldn't possibly eat a whole pizzelle, but - oh look, that little baby pizzelle will do just fine. I know a few people who take on that role at gatherings (myself included from time to time), so I'm going to take that justification and run with it.
How to Make Chocolate Pizzelle
Both the ingredients and the method of preparing the pizzelle batter are pretty straightforward. The dry ingredients are whisked together in one bowl while the egg and brown sugar are mixed together in another. Once the melted butter and vanilla extract are combined in with the rest of the wet ingredients, all the dry gets poured into the bowl with the wet and the two are combined.
The batter should have approximately the consistency of a chocolate frosting. This definitely isn't a thin batter!
At this point you'll want to heat up your pizzelle iron and grease it, if needed. I've had a Cuisinart press for years and love it. The grates are non-stick, but I will brush a little oil on them at the beginning of each pizzelle batch and maybe once halfway through just to make sure there won't be any sticking issues.
I've only used this type of pizzelle press so I can't speak to how a cast iron or aluminum version operates. If in whatever version you're using the dark chocolate pizzelle begins to stick, brush a neutral oil like vegetable or canola oil on to help them release cleanly.
These dark chocolate pizzelle feature a rich chocolate flavor in a crunchy, concise package. They make wonderful additions to a holiday cookie tray or truly, any type of dessert occasion. After making a batch of these, your kitchen will smell like you've just baked a chocolate cake. Who doesn't like that aroma wafting around? Yum.
- I use Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder in this recipe to provide a rich flavor and deep color. It's 100% cacao and a blend of natural (lighter) and dutched (darker, less acidic) cocoa powders. BTW not sponsored. I just find this variety the most accessible and affordable.
- These thin and crisp cookies are delicate, so they aren't good candidates to be mailed or brought someplace where they'll be jostled along the way.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
Dark Chocolate Pizzelle
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsweetened dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg
- ½ cup brown sugar*
- 5 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add egg and brown sugar and mix on medium speed until mixture is smooth and has thickened, approx. one minute. Change the mixer speed to low and slowly pour in melted butter and vanilla extract until just combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until just combined, approx. 15 seconds, taking care not to overmix.
- Heat your pizzelle iron to your desired level (I like mine medium to medium-high crispness, so I selected around 3 ½ on the iron's "1 to 5" crispness scale). I brush the top and bottom of the iron with a small amount of oil or cooking spray to ensure there wouldn't be any sticking.
- Add batter to the center of the bottom grid and repeat for the remaining grids in your iron. As the batter will spread when you close the iron, do not completely cover the pizzelle grid with batter. My iron produces 4-inch full-sized pizzelle and the accompanying booklet suggests adding 1 ½ - 2 teaspoon batter. Adjust to less if you're looking for smaller pizzelle.
- Close the iron and cook until the timer light indicates, about a minute to a minute and a half. Remove pizzelle to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat for the remaining batter, brushing the pizzelle grids with cooking spray if needed throughout.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
Do they freeze well? I’m having problems with texture, they seem to be crisp,then get soft after cooling, is this cause by humidity, if so can this be prevented.? Judy.
Hi Judy, I have found them to freeze well. I would wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in a structured container so they won't get squashed and broken in the freezer. Humidity can definitely impact pizzelle crispness. Make sure they are completely cool to room temperature before storing (warmth can trap condensation in the container and make them soft). If they've already become too soft, you can try placing them on an ungreased baking sheet in a 350°F oven for just a minute or two to crisp them back up some, keeping an eye on them so they don't burn.
I’ve been making traditional pizelles for 60 years, but these sadly did not work for me. They stuck to the iron even after greasing. The crumbs were delicious so wish it worked. My iron does not have crispness settings (either off or on) and I tried different timings. Oh well.
Sorry to hear these didn't work for you, Joan! Just curious, do you have a non-stick pizzelle press or cast iron?
Charlene Maguire says
I got ready to start my Christmas cookies, and half way through the first batch, the door of my oven broke. Since I always make pizzelles as well, (anise and lemon) I figured I'd find some new recipes to try. When I saw this one, using Special Dark Chocolate (my absolute fav!) I had to try it. I just got done with my first batch. I doubled the recipe, but otherwise followed it to the T. These are delicious! I had never made pizzelles with butter before, only oil, and the texture of the batter is very different, so it took me a few to get the right amount on my spoon to get a full cookie. But once figured out, it went smoothly. I did have to respray with oil once in the middle, but my iron came out clean, with no stuck batter. My only warning with these cookies is that they are VERY TENDER when you remove the from the iron, unlike those made using oil. Be very careful or you'll tear your cookies. These will be a holiday staple from now on... but next time? I'll triple the recipe! Yeah, they're that good. 😉
I'm sorry you're having oven troubles (what timing!) but so happy you liked these pizzelle, Charlene! Thanks for sharing your experience with them. 🙂
Linda S says
can i use melted dark chocolate morsals instead of cocoa powder
Hi Linda, I haven't tried it that way myself but I would be afraid the texture difference between melted chocolate and a dry powder could throw them off. If you don't have the dark chocolate cocoa powder, regular unsweetened cocoa powder would work no problem.